Written for the Leverage bingo mini game. Prompt: The Stork Job. I don't own Leverage.
Parker dropped lightly onto the pavement. They were in Paris now, having dropped off the orphans with the world health organisation, and Parker was glad they'd made it here because they were staying for two days and she could finally just disappear. It was all she'd wanted to do since the moment she'd walked into that orphanage and the memories of her past had assaulted her.
The hotel they were staying in wasn't that big, but clearly catered to a more expensive living style. Sophie had picked it, and none of the team had seen fit to argue, since she was clearly still a bit pissed about the whole 'no film in the camera' deal.
Parker hadn't even bothered with a harness or ropes to get down here from her room, just dropped from one stone outcropping to another until she was on the ground. This left her in an alley at the side of the building. She went towards the back, going up and over the six foot wall there with very little effort. She dropped down… and found Sophie standing there, leaning against the side of a building and watching her.
"You know, if you used the front door more often it'd be a lot harder for someone to predict your actions," the grifter said idly. Her eyes were calm, assessing, seeing things even Parker herself probably didn't know about. "Come on," she said, offering a hand. Parker stared at it. Sophie sighed and walked over, linking arms with the thief. "I'm taking you to supper."
Parker shifted, not exactly comfortable with the physical contact but not sure how to get away without hurting Sophie. She wasn't sure why the grifter wanted her to go for dinner but she was actually hungry, and figured whatever Sophie had in mind was probably more substantial than the 'emergency' baggie of cereal she had in her backpack.
Fifteen minutes later they were sitting in a cozy little restaurant. Parker had kind of expected a place where all the women wore dresses and the guys wore suits, but then after the fact she'd realised that Sophie was actually dressed quite casually by her standards, slacks and blouse and a waist length leather jacket over top.
"So…" Parker said, but then stopped, not sure what she was supposed to say.
Sophie tilted her head when Parker spoke, but when it was clear she wasn't going to finish the thought Sophie simply smiled and asked about Parker's favourite place in Paris. Without hesitation Parker said "The Eiffel Tower." Sophie had to grin a bit; she had a feeling the thief's love of that particular landmark had nothing to do with it's rather spectacular view.
"I think I'll go there tonight," Parker said. She hesitated and then said "You can come if you want." She knew full well Sophie would decline the offer; she was clearly afraid of heights.
Sophie took a deep breath and let it out slowly before she said "Promise you won't let me fall?"
Parker's eyes widened almost comically. "But you hate heights! Why the hell would you agree to it?"
"Because I trust you to keep me safe. Because fear shouldn't keep a person from trying things. And because that's where you're going, so I am too." Their meals arrived and they broke off the conversation because the food was absolutely fantastic. Parker had a tendency to scarf down her food, and Sophie had a feeling she now knew why. Eat while you can. Basic survival.
An hour later the women were standing most of the way to the top of France's most prominent landmark. Sophie's heart was pounding, and she was a bit glad Parker had insisted on a half hour walk after they ate, because she had a feeling it was the only thing stopping her from being violently ill. Though Parker was definitely not grifter material, Sophie's fear must have been obvious, because Parker said "You don't have to do this."
"You didn't have to save those kids. But you did." Sophie said a quick prayer for courage and then started putting on the harness in Parker's hand. "If you hadn't gone back at least some of them probably would have died. You did a good thing. Maybe next time you'll trust us to help you."
"I know what he said. But sometimes you just have to do the right thing instead of the smart thing." She glanced over at the railing meaningfully. "If you'd refused to leave I would have stayed whether Nate agreed or not."
Parker still didn't understand, but she walked over and started making sure all of the Sophie's equipment was done up properly. When she accidentally touched the grifter's arm she could feel her shaking.
"I won't let you get hurt." Parker wasn't a big fan of eye contact, but she pulled back and stared into Sophie's eyes, which were almost completely black right now due to the dim light and the widening of her pupils from fear. Parker connected their harnesses together and moved both of them over to the railing, hooking them to the rope there. "Ready?"
Sophie wrapped her arms around the thief and buried her eyes in her shoulder. "Yeah."
It was halfway down the rope, with Sophie's arms so tight around her that it was a bit hard to breathe, that Parker realised she was no longer feeling the pain she'd been in since that first day that she'd seen the video of Luca in L.A.
"You did what?" Nate's tone was half scandalised and half admiring. Sophie'd walked into his hotel room and grabbed his glass of whiskey, draining it in one gulp and then coughing a bit. He'd poured her another and sat her down beside him. After two more drinks she'd finally told him where she'd disappeared to.
"It was worth it," Sophie said after a second. "I think she'll be okay now. Maybe she learned something about trust, too."
The next morning when Sophie woke up, she looked over at the wall across from her and pretty much face faulted. Last night the painting on the wall had been a Picasso replica. In it's place hung a stunning Monet. After a second she grinned and started planning. She'd get it home somehow.